The Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada, better known as the RA, says COVID-19 has delivered a body check to its hockey program that it will unfortunately not be recovering from.
In a letter to members, Thursday, June 10, the RA says it will no longer be providing hockey programming as "hockey is not only a costly enterprise, but was and continues to be on a decline in overall participation numbers, both at the RA and nationally."
The not-for-profit organization, which has been serving Ottawa for more than 80 years, is looking to rebound from the harsh impacts of the pandemic. Its leaders say "we must make some difficult, heart-wrenching decisions."
For over a year now, the RA has been unable to fully open with extended periods of provincially mandated closure and strict restrictions costing the organization millions of dollars of much needed revenue.
"COVID-19 has forced a reassessment and re-thinking of every part of our operations," reads the letter signed by the RA's director and manager.
The letter goes onto explain that they're dealing with an aging facility, with most areas requiring large capital investment and experiencing increasing operational costs. Organizers are also worried about the possibility of continued public health restrictions in some program areas and the uncertainty around participants’ comfort levels in returning to activities where contact is unavoidable.
Anyone with credit remaining on their RA Hockey file is expected to be contacted by the RA.